Category Archives: Europe

Climate Schlimate, Paris Accord

Pulling out of the Paris Accord is best for America. The anti-capitalist anti-American community are pushing the narrative that man-made global warming is going to kill the planet, and that the United States is responsible, and should set the example by agreeing to it.

The [agreement] promises to damage the economy while surrendering American sovereignty over climate policy to yet another international, largely anti-American enterprise. Our climate policy — which incorporates health and economic policy — would be mandated by the terms of this agreement. It is a hard-and-fast agreement that targets the United States as the primary culprit and requires the United States to carry the primary burden in fixing what isn’t broken, in stopping what isn’t happening: Man-made climate change.

We are setting the example already, and don’t need to shift trillions of taxpayer dollars from our side of the planet to the other. Get back to me when the rest of the world, including China and India, can run their industrialized economies as efficiently and environmentally friendly as we do. Then tell me what the global temperature should be, and how to keep it from changing.

Merkel, Stinging Defeat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Christian Democrats Party” was handed a “sobering defeat.” Beaten into third place, in what was the first of five regional votes before a national election expected next September.  Turning in an all-time low result was a “stinging defeat” for Merkel in her home district.

She was beaten by a relatively new political party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), that campaigned against her open border policies. Policies that have hurt, if not transformed, German life in the same way it has affected the EU in general.

Not surprisingly, the media characterizes the AfD, not as pro-Germany, nationalist, or populist. Not as anti-Merkel. But as anti-immigrant and anti-Islam. Same media. Different continent.

AfD party chair, Frauke Petry, described Sunday’s result as a blow to Angela Merkel. “Now it is our responsibility to make politics for the people. The people no longer trust the old establishment parties to do so,” Petry said.

Whether this election or the AfD signals a shift in German politics remains to be seen. But it does have the same organic feel like the Tea Party in the U.S. or Brexit in the U.K.

Link: Merkel’s party beaten by rightwing populists in state election

Greece’s Tsipras Wins Re-election

Alexis Tsipras has hailed a “victory of the people” after his left-wing Syriza party won Greece’s fifth election in six years. Mr. Tsipras said his decision to call an early election was vindicated and that he had been given a clear mandate.

Since Greece produces very little in terms of manufacturing, they rely on imports to exist. Manufacturing is down 40% and imports are down 33%. The Greek economy was growing in the second half of last year. Businesses began hedging their bets for expansion when ‘capital control’ started in July. Now, investments have dried up completely. Now the Tsipras government is poised to take even more of their profits.

Many businesses can’t pay their suppliers without getting special permission for a loan from the central bank. How’s that for instilling business confidence? Unemployment is over 25% and youth unemployment is over 50%. And Greece’s economy is tanking.

Rejecting the EU, IMF, the ECB, Greece seems to have given Tsipras a mandate to suicide.

Link: Greece election: Alexis Tsipras hails ‘victory of the people’

37% Of Americans Not Working

To say that the Obama administration represents Jimmy Carter’s “second term,” is not a stretch. That’s because the labor participation rate hasn’t been this low since the malaise of the Carter era.

The “labor participation rate” is the percentage of people who can work that are working. The labor participation rate for April 2015 is 62.8 percent. More than one-third of the American work force, ninety-three million, are looking for work.

This is what the Obama administration is touting as a recovery. And President Obama readily admits, “there’s more work to do.” Translation; “what I’m doing isn’t working the way you think it should, but you’ll get used to it after a while. Remaking America takes time.”

Here’s how the BLS describes it . . .

 [T]he dynamic demographic, economic, and social forces that once spurred the level, growth, and composition of the labor force have changed and are now damping labor force growth.

To illustrate what 93,000,000 Americans out of work represents, look at it this way. It could represent the populations of Ireland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, and Lithuania combined. Or ALL of Germany, or Turkey, or the United Kingdom, or France, or Italy, and a few million more.

And look at the president’s solution. Grow government and shrink the private sector, raise taxes, raise national debt, and make more people dependent on the dwindling number of taxpayers lucky enough to still have a job. He has a perverse view of economics. He thinks expanding government and spreading the wealth around amounts to economic recovery.

And it’s not because he doesn’t know what it takes to stimulate economic activity to actually grow the economy. It’s because he knows that growing the economic pie would mean shrinking government and its control over the people. And that goes against his goal of remaking America as he sees it. As though we have a new founding father in The White House.

Link: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Learning From Mistakes

Speaking of learning from mistakes, Thomas Sowell takes that theme and covers a range of teachable moments. From anti-trust laws to lawlessness, economics, immigration, and more.

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We all make mistakes and some of us learn from them. What is even better is to learn from other people’s mistakes, where they pay for those mistakes while we learn free of charge.

Many Americans who say that we should learn from other people, especially Europeans, mean that we should imitate what they did. That may make those who talk this way feel superior to other Americans. But let us never forget that the most disastrous ideologies of the 20th century — Communism, Fascism and Nazism — all originated in Europe. So did both World Wars.

More recently, Europe has been belatedly discovering how unbelievably stupid it was to import millions of people from cultures that despise Western values, and which often promote hatred toward Western people.

Maybe that is a mistake that we can think about when Congress finally decides to do something about our open borders and our immigration laws that we refuse to enforce.    . . . . more

Foreign Policy? What Foreign Policy?

Snapshot of the state of foreign relations and leadership of the Obama Administration.

Nov. 3, 2013 and June 23, 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry trying to “mend” relations with Egypt.

Nov. 4, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry trying to “mend” relations with Saudi Arabia.

January 1, 2014 to June 23, 2014, after a decade of war, trillions of dollars, and hundreds of thousands of American lives lost or affected, the progress and victory in Iraq has vanished. Iraq is being over-run by al-Qaeda type terrorists, slaughtering Iraqis along the way.

Libya, gone. Syria, gone. Russia, belligerent as ever and making a mockery of Obama while invading and taking parts of Ukraine.

Our allies, like Poland and Ukraine, know that the United States can not be counted on as an ally in any real sense. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski believes his country’s alliance with the US is worth nothing. And then some.

“The Polish-American alliance is not worth anything. It’s even damaging, because it creates a false sense of security in Poland,” Sikorski allegedly said.

“Complete bullshit,” the tape purportedly records Sikorski as saying. “We will get a conflict with both Russians and Germans, and we’re going to think that everything is great, because we gave the Americans a blowjob. Suckers. Total suckers.”

Can’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s what you get when you put a community organizer in The White House.

Surrender-in-Chief

President Obama, our elected Commander-in-Chief, has demonstrated over and over his naiveté in foreign policy. If you can point to one successful, tactical foreign policy decision, then you’re a magician because there isn’t one. North Korea, China, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, Eastern Europe’s missile defense shield, Israel, Lebanon, Arab Spring, Red Lines.

Likewise, his military acumen as a warrior is totally laughable. Except for the fact that he is responsible for our sons and daughters in harm’s way. He fights wars based on timetables instead of results. And he announces them, not just to his political hacks but, to the enemy. He creates a false narrative about the Benghazi attack, and broadcasts apologies to the Islamist goons in Pakistan about a movie that they likely never saw. As if they will do anything other than laugh at his amateur hour.

Withholding judgment whether Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter (an investigation will tell), this latest prisoner swap (he does negotiate with terrorists) is yet another example of how far Barack Obama will go to 1) stick it to the military, 2) appease terrorists in hoping (“hope” is not a strategy) that they’ll like us, 3) let these 5 terrorist kingpins go free after one year (who were supposed to be detained until the cessation of hostilities, ie. indefinitely). That is, if Qatar doesn’t release them or allow them to escape beforehand, and 4) he finally has a chance to give preference or weight to an Islamist goon, over an American. When the era of slavery was coming to an end, there was a time when slaves counted as 3/5 of a person. But today, President Obama (who claims to be Black) has a chance to exercise a little payback. Bergdahl weighs in at 1/5. One American, in exchange for the 5 most dangerous terrorists on the planet.

And that makes sense to who? Makes one think that President Obama is on the wrong side in this war. Problem is, he thinks he’s on the right side.

Link: Obama defends operation to rescue U.S. soldier from Taliban

Croatia Defines Marriage As Man+Woman

The banner proclaims ‘Marriage equals woman plus men, everything else is something different’

Croats voted overwhelmingly in favor of defining marriage in the constitution as a “union of man and woman” on Sunday. Croatia now shares its constitutional definition of marriage with Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia.

Almost 66 percent of those who voted in the referendum in the new European Union member endorsed the initiative, launched by the Catholic group “In the Name of the Family”, according to preliminary results on Sunday night. Turnout was 37 percent. The vote was not surprising given that 90 percent of Croatia is Roman Catholic.

Current law in Croatia states that marriage is between a man and woman. The point of the constitutional referendum was to insure that no laws would or could change that definition, short of a constitutional amendment which would need a two-thirds vote, 66 percent. Despite the overwhelming majority of the effort to put it in the constitution, the Croatian government was opposed to it but will comply with the referendum. The government will be making laws to grant equal rights to same-sex couples instead of changing or expanding the definition of the word. It is also considering changes to the constitutional referendum process to restrict the ability for the public to start changes to it.

It is instructive to see the liberal bias in the news reporting of the referendum. More than just defining the meaning of the word in the constitution, there are headlines like “Same-sex marriage ban divides Croatia” and “Croatians Vote Against Same-Sex Marriage.” Choosing automatic victim status, in true liberal fashion, Croatians didn’t vote for the normal definition of marriage, they voted against gays. There was no same-sex marriage ban. In Croatia, same-sex marriage isn’t now and never has been legal. And if anything, the referendum united Croatia on what marriage is. It didn’t divide it.

Link: Croats set constitutional bar to same-sex marriage

Mexico’s Energy Reform, Introduce Private Enterprise

The United States isn’t the only country in the hemisphere suffering from an incoherent energy policy. An effective energy policy is one that gets energy instead of one that won’t use all energy resources available.Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto listens to an attendee at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley

Mexico’s problem . . .

Mexico is the world’s 10th-biggest producer of crude oil, according to OPEC data, yet output has fallen by a quarter since hitting peak production of 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004. The country also is a top oil exporter to the United States but has to import nearly half of its gasoline due to a lack of domestic refining capacity.

Our problem? We haven’t built a new refinery in decades. The government limits the energy industry by restricting access to available resources to the bidding of regulatory agencies and special interests whose goals, although noble, are not ready for prime time nor economically feasible at this time. Not only that, but the oil industry has become deformed as a private enterprise, a result of growing government intervention.

Parallels abound between the role government plays in United States and that of Europe and Mexico. Economically, Europe, and toss Russia into the mix too, is introducing more capitalism, private sector business and ownership, as a way to raise them from the economic malaise that their socialist models have produced. On the energy front, Mexico is looking to change from their total government-controlled and owned energy sector to one that, for the first time, introduces private enterprise into the mix.

The teachable moment here is where we, as a country, are going wrong. Economically, we are trying to go to a place that from experience, Europe is trying to get away from. On the energy front, the political party in power is inclined to nationalizing the energy industry whether by fiat or through regulatory agencies. The opposite to what, from experience, Mexico sees as a solution.

It’s been proven it can be done. They just took the health care industry, sixteen percent of our entire economy. And just like in Mexico, there are challenges to making real reform. We should know why Europe and Mexico envy what we have accomplished under free-market capitalism. Which is why we should resist any changes that take us to a place from which they are running.

Link: Mexico energy reform due this week, debate over contracts